Two Hanover College-owned paintings by English artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones are set for exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Newfields). The display will be featured in the museum's European galleries from April 23 through June 30, 2020.
The paintings, “Princess Sabra Drawing the Lot” and The Petition to the King,” were purchased for the College by industrialist William Henry Donner in 1939. The works date from 1865-66 and are part of the artist’s seven-piece telling of the legend of St. George and the dragon.
Art historians around the world believed the paintings had been lost since a 1906 public exhibition in England. The works, however, hung in Donner Lecture Hall for decades before being discovered on campus in 1994 by John Martin, professor of art history and Burne-Jones scholar.
Indianapolis Museum of Art has had possession of the famed works since March 1, 2018. In addition to cleaning and repairs, the museum’s conservationists have performed further research on the paintings using technology such as infrared cameras and X-rays. The effort was to discover how Burne-Jones actually painted each piece, possible underdrawings and edits, as well as a look at the cultural history of the paintings, including previous exhibitions and owners.
Since re-emerging in the 1990s, “Princess Sabra Drawing the Lot” and The Petition to the King” have toured the world. The paintings have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, England’s Birmingham Museums, Musée d'Orsay in Paris, Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky., and the College’s Joseph Wood Evans Memorial Special Collections and Archives Center.